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Kodak Theatre owners seeking government money for Cirque du Soleil renovations

August 4, 2009 |  6:48 am

It's an old Hollywood story: a well-liked performer with a pretty face who just can't deliver the goods every time.

In this case the performer is the Kodak Theatre, glamorous temple of the Academy Awards seen one night each year on television by millions of people. But on far too many other nights, the vast theater tucked into the Hollywood & Highland shopping center is dark and not generating revenues or taxes, its operators say.

The development company CIM Group, which owns Hollywood & Highland and runs the Kodak, says it could strengthen the theater and buoy tourism revenues in Hollywood by signing the famed acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil to a long-term contract.

But that would mean $50 million in renovations, and CIM wants to fund part of that with a federal job-creation loan, obtained through the city of Los Angeles. The City Council is scheduled to vote today on whether to sponsor the $30-million loan, which supporters say would earn the city $500,000 in administrative fees.